The Bullies and Bullied

By Kristian Buckner | Mar 06, 2013

Suicide: The third leading cause of death among young people, resulting in over 4,000 a year in America.

For every 1 suicide there are at least 100 attempts.

Victims of bullying are up to 9 times more likely to commit suicide.

A study found that at least half of suicides in young adults are caused by bullying.

Nearly 30 percent of students are either bullied or bullies.

Because of bullying, over 160,000 kids stay home from school every day.

 

I can't remember the very first time it happened, but I remember very vividly the other times it did. I was only in elementary school, but I had quickly found out I wasn't pretty. I had glasses, which I discovered wouldn't get me friends. I was in an advanced program, which ostracized me more. I was a nerd, and no, that wasn't a positive thing. I was chubby, I couldn't run well, I was shorter than most, and maybe my worst offense, I didn't eat meat. I didn't fit in. I remember, every night before bed, I would pray not just that I wouldn't hear anything negative the next day, but that I would fit in. I would be one of them, I would be liked and I would be invited to sleep-overs and birthday parties, and people would want to come to mine.

I was never granted that wish.

But, I was granted mocking questions, sneers, laughs, fake kindness.

I was granted one gift though. The gift of a true friendship, one that didn't abandon me. I was granted a small circle of friends that would protect me, that would build me up. And most importantly, I had one true best friend, one who was different then the rest. One who would make me stronger to overcome those who brought me down. One who is still there for now. Every time.

 

 

Bullying isn't an uncommon occurrence in schools. They start young, blunt and brutal. As described by one source, "it's about persona really. If you have a weak persona, spiritually, physically, or mentally then you'll have two choices: use your stronger suit to bully others weak in those areas, or be bullied by those doing it." By insecurities children often become bullies in order to find themselves in higher rank among their peers. The ones who are seen to be the best only put themselves there, making it appear that they are better than others by creating the image that others are below them. Snide comments are made and rumors are spread. It's not hard to be a bully, everyone has their weak spots.

 

Because bullying starts at such a young age it affects us so deeply we either break, or we become stronger. A brave friend of mine, Amanda, recently shared her story with me about being bullied. When she was three she had to get a hearing aid because she was born with a permanent hearing loss. Remarks were constantly made because of her hearing aid. Amanda recalls the first real comment about her that was made saying, "The 1st rude comment that I remember was in 4th grade. People had always been curious of them. But a certain boy made it a bigger deal than others. I remember him saying that his grandmother had them and that she was old so therefore I was weird for having them so young." She noted that it hurt a lot, but that she had a supportive family who helped her understand that, "some kids just weren't raised right." She cried a lot about the comments that were made, but for Amanda, things got better. "I went to speech therapy nearly everyday in elementary school and she helped me a lot to cope with it. Also, my great-grandmother had hearing aids.. and I can remember growing up she always was giving me little pep talks, she was my inspiration, and taught me to love myself no matter what." She eventually came to the realization that, "we live in a messed up world. People will be mean, and will be insecure about themselves. So, when they make fun of me and that makes them feel better inside, well good. Eventually one day they will go through something like this, maybe when they're older, and what not, or they will have a kid that has hearing aids, or another disability. And they will see what they did. I don't want to be bitter towards people. I didn't ask to be born with a hearing loss, but I was. So I might as well enjoy it." Now Amanda is a confident, kind, and happy young woman who is ready to defend those in need at any time. Who lives to inspire and lift up those who need it. Amanda has raised herself with strength to become a better person and has lived to be above the bullying nightmares of her childhood.


Thankfully my days of hearing comments are mostly over, or perhaps I'm strong enough to not be hurt by them, like Amanda. But recently the problem with bullying has arisen more and more among my peers. It wasn't just when we were younger that we were bullied. Kids become more harsh, finding the weakest point in a character and stabbing it with a dull knife. As noted before, suicide is one of the leading causes of death for young people, and one of the biggest reasons for suicide in young adults is bullying.

Has it always been this way? Have kids always done all they could without remorse? I saw on the news there was a kid who died because he was taken off the machines that were keeping his vegetable being alive. He was in a coma because kids on the playground beat him to near death. Just young, school children who were violent and cruel enough to beat a child until the brink of death. How is that fair? Or right? How do kids keep doing these things? Why? Why do people bully others senselessly? Do they ever feel remorse for their wrong doings? Will all this ever change? Or are we doomed forever to a constant path of bullying and destruction of people?

 

Another trend that has been happening in young adults has been cyber bullying. It's not incredibly new, but it is getting worse. I see pictures of people who have slit their wrist and posted it on the internet, I see girls on Facebook mocking a girl for how she chooses to pose in pictures, people using harsh words to describe another girl, threats blatantly made because of a misunderstanding. Although bullying still happens in the raw everyday, cyber bullying is the new, "hot" trend among kids today. Why? Because their pathetic souls can no longer find it in them to say something to someone's face. They've moved beyond just bullying in the flesh, so that they can see the wounds they create out in the open. People are now bullying behind a screen. By themselves, in their rooms, taunting and provoking. Hiding their faces, though not in shame, in weakness, in fault in character. And in public they pretend like it never happened, laughing and joking amongst themselves, pretending like they are saints visiting a Catholic church. Although there isn't a rightful defense for those who bully, those who bully behind closed doors are even further below. And what's worse? No one does anything about it. Not principles, teachers, parents, police officers. It's like it never existed though the words are in black and white.

A prime example of the terrors of cyber bullying is what is currently happening with a friend of mine. My friend, who's name I will not say in order to protect her, is nothing but kind. She is sweet, a lover of animals, a CNA, someone who respects others and does all that she can to make herself a better person daily, a dedicated friend. Because of recent and unfortunate events, my friend found that a constant friend of hers was no less than an enemy. The events, which I will not name either, are not ones which would normally tear two people apart. An accident, a possible misunderstanding, and pure immaturity brought the two apart. And because of this, the ex-friend waged a war on my friend, teaming up those close to them to prepare for the battle. The war has raged physically and virtually. Some of the rude comments involved hopes that my friend would die, personal and insulting comments involving what she looks like and who she is as a person, and other things that are untrue. My friend has tried to patiently deal with it, finding it more difficult as the fights get worse. She no longer feels safe in public because of her bullies, carrying methods of defense with her out of fear. The bullies have threatened her job, her car, her life. The relentless, crude, juvenile bullies have found safe haven on Twitter, making indirect comments about her that are clearly meant for her. There are messages, public threats, all these things have haunted my friend to no end. So, she did what anyone would do, she turned to people for help. The bullies only brought her defending friends down, and police have responded to her pleas with a meek reply that there is not enough evidence.

(Now let me ask you this, if someone is in front of you telling you they hope you die, but they do not say your name, it is obvious that they are saying it to you, correct? There isn't a question of whether or not they are saying it to Jane Doe behind you, because it's clear that it is to you. So, with that clarified, wouldn't we all say that when other mean spirited comments have been made prior to a certain person, and then more are made, although not directly saying the person's name, wouldn't it be clear who it's to? Is that not evidence enough?)

My friend is still dealing with this war, helpless and near hopeless. But will there be no end?

 

My thoughts are, what goes through the heads of bullies when they act upon others to hurt them? How do they do it knowing that they will hurt someone else, even if that person is not deserving? How do they live with bringing down someone who hasn't done anything to hurt them before? They aren't getting revenge, but my hopes are that a good plot of karma will be headed their ways, a guilt will weigh on their consciences.

For those who bully, I must know, how do you find it in yourself to do it? And those who cyber bully: please do me a favor and find the strength to be cruel in person if you are going to at all. For those who are victims of bullying: You must be strong. You must have faith and know that what goes around comes around. You are good enough, and you sure as hell don't need anyone else's approval.

 

To those to acknowledge bullying and fail to do anything about it: Why are you sitting there, just staring at it? Pretending it doesn't exist like an elephant in the room? You're no better than the ones who commit the crime. If you see a murder happen, and you don't do anything to stop it, you're to blame as well. If you allow bullying to go on, one day it may lead to a suicide. Consider that murder that you didn't stop it. Consider it your sin to not have helped that person. Consider it your burden to live with the guilt of inactivity.

 

Although I'm at a loss for bullying, I wish for nothing more than awareness and acknowledgement. For people to stop and consider what they're doing. There isn't any point in bringing down others. Focus on yourself, because that's all that should matter.

 

 

 

"To the kids that bully: Everyone is made different, with different problems. Some just happen to be more evident. Hearing aids, Downs syndrome, glasses, unformed ligaments. Yes, they stand out. But what makes them any different than the person born with a hole in their heart, or people that are allergic to certain foods?

I would tell them my story, and let them know what all I had to go through.
I would tell them that If it made them really feel that great to bully someone then by all powers to make fun of me, I'm strong, I can handle it. (:

 

To the kids that are being bullied: People are cruel, misunderstanding and judgmental. I would encourage them to stand strong and embrace being different. People will be jerks, but if you respond in a positive way towards their remarks then they will see that you are different in a positive way, and eventually see how big of a jerk they are. A lot of people haven't been educated in the fact that people are "different." Many people didn't even know that you could have hearing aids at a young age. MY biggest advice for them would seriously just be to stay strong and not respond in bitterness to there words." ~ Amanda

 

This blog is for all the kids who have been bullied, stay strong, you're above the comments, you're above the bullying, and you're better than you realize. You're you, and that's enough.

 

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